In the first half of last week’s game (also known as the good half) Nick Perry had a very good and memorable play. He came through unblocked and got a good hit on rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck fumbled the ball and the Packers recovered. It probably would have been a knockout blow….but the refs called Perry for unnecessary roughness. The main reason for this was a helmet to helmet collision between Perry and Luck, which is an absolute no-no in today’s NFL. The problem was that Perry didn't make contact with Luck’s helmet, but rather his shoulder pads, hitting him in that one magical area a quarterback can be touched. It wasn't too high and it wasn't too low.
But that’s okay because these sort of things happen and refs have to make a call on the fly. Better that they should protect quarterbacks and the stars of the league and the team overcome the penalty. After all the NFL would look at the film of the game, see that it wasn't malicious and generally a clean hit and take that into consideration when it comes to fines….right?
Today Nick Perry was fined $15,000 for that hit on Luck. For a bit of perspective, Brandon Browner, the Seattle player who hit a defenseless Greg Jennings well away from the play, was fined $7,875 for his dirty and unnecessary hit. So the player who made a clean hit was fine nearly twice that of a player who made a dirty hit which could lead to injury. Makes sense to you? I didn't think so.
Now the main reason given for the fine was the fact that Perry had led with his head. I personally don’t buy it, but there is a very long broad fan-based grip about the way the NFL handles player safety, unnecessary roughness calls, and the fines that follow. So let's just chalk this up to the NFL doing what the NFL does....which when it comes to this issue means it does what it wants and makes sure all its actions are consistently inconsistent.
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